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Shayna Ritthaler

Teen plans to admit he shot teen girl in head, left her in basement: Lawyer

A South Dakota suspect facing charges in connection with the death of a teen girl is planning to plead guilty.

As CrimeOnline previously reported, authorities found the body of 16-year-old Shayna Ritthaler, of Moorcroft, inside the basement of a South Dakota home in October 2019.

Shayna was last seen getting into a 1994 Jeep Cherokee after walking to the Coffee Cup in Moorcroft. Authorities found the vehicle and its owner and determined he was not involved in the teen’s disappearance.

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Investigators later learned that Shayna was at a 17-year-old male’s home at a residence east of Sturgis, near the Wyoming line. An alleged argument between the pair ended deadly in the home when the male teen shot her in the head, prosecutors said.

Shayna had met the suspect for the first time when she was shot and killed, following an online romance, according to prosecutors.

The suspect’s lawyer, Steven Titus, is expected to ask the judge for a 55-year sentence and a reduced charge of manslaughter. The suspect, who was initially charged with murder, had planned to plead not guilty by reason of insanity. With the new plea, the insanity defense will be dropped.

The defendant is currently in juvenile jail on a $1 million bond.

Check back for updates.

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[Feature Photo: Shayna Ritthaler/Handout]